Five Healthy Habits for the Work-From-Home Employee

Setting up one’s home office is, at its core, simply a matter of space; is there enough room for everyone to get done what they need to each day? Another important question associated with a work-from-home environment soon presents itself as well, “How does one stay healthy when they’re confined to their house?” Over the past year or two, the world learned very quickly how to let their fitness get away from them. LifeSpan was prepared to help us find it again.

The Right Changes

With all the ways the pandemic has forced us to accommodate it, we must be dedicated to making the right changes that preserve our mental and physical health. Like all sustainable habits, these actions don’t need to be massive, but together they can have a significant positive impact on our lives.

Find Ways to Move

Let’s face it, exercise was easier when we had places to go and people to see. Even getting up and going to lunch with your colleagues provided a chance to get out from behind the computer and get out into the world. Now, we must be much more diligent about choosing to move. Consider making small efforts, frequently — again, it doesn’t have to be an hour-long workout to be effective.

  • Schedule breaks to walk around the neighborhood, perhaps bringing the dog along.
  • Swap out your work chair for one that promotes core strength or ergonomics, like a ball chair.
  • Decide to invest in fitness equipment for the home office, such as a treadmill desk.
  • Spend part of your lunch break getting in a few exercises, like some push-ups or a quick set of dumbbell lifts.

For many, the pandemic sounded the death knell for their personal fitness. LifeSpan’s line of office wellness products, like the bike desk, are some of the best ways to stay active without sacrificing your valuable work time.

Find Ways to Communicate

By now, the Zoom fail compilations on YouTube are legendary, from the CEO giving a speech while still on mute to the attorney arguing his case with an Instagram cat filter. Surely, the problem isn’t a lack of ways to communicate but rather that people aren’t taking time to have meaningful conversations outside of meetings, in large part, perhaps, because the technology is so unintuitive.

  • Use the channel functionality to your advantage with your chosen chat platform. Have one dedicated to movies, TV, or books. When you’re in that channel, no work allowed!
  • Send memes and interesting articles to your team members to keep the good vibes going. 
  • Use your lunch hour to play games over the computer with your colleagues so that everyone can unwind.
  • Start an office-wide fitness goal and cheer everyone on. (Once again, LifeSpan makes it easy to hit your daily steps with our famous treadmill desk).

Take Strategic Breaks

There has been a lot of rhetoric in the business world about lost hours of work and people’s inability to stay fully engaged in what they’re doing. Yes, the temptation of social media accounts for much of this, but a lot of that can be mitigated by better calendaring and purposefully factoring in breaks.

  • Try an X minutes on/X minutes off technique, allowing yourself a break after so many minutes of deep-diving into work.
  • You’re at home — take a short 15 or 20-minute nap during the long grind after lunch.
  • Don’t spend your breaks in front of a screen; leave your home office for a bit and go read a book or spend time outside.

Dedicate a Place for Work

We’ve been talking about a home office and that’s for a reason: mentally, we need a place where we can go to work that is separate from our other home activities. Having your office in the living room next to the kitchen might be bad for your health (lots of snacking means extra time on your bike desk), but it also might just ruin dinner for you as well. It will stop being special.

  • Where possible, set up a space that isn’t in front of the main TV or in your bedroom. Don’t work where you sleep.
  • Get a desk. You will appreciate having a place to decorate with pictures and memorabilia that is specifically for work.
  • Dedicate yourself to the work as well. Dress in work clothes, take a shower, and go about your morning routine as if you were about to drive to work, then step into your office.

Get Goal-Oriented

It is very common for people who work from home to feel a little aimless, even if they have a lot to do. A new environment can be a lot to wrap your head around and you will want to remain as productive as possible. This takes creativity, though. Achievable goals are a great way to focus your efforts so that you can feel good about how the day went as 5 o’clock rolls around. 

  • Much of this list can be included in your goals; getting in steps at your treadmill desk, taking a short nap, and returning to work to complete a big project are all goals that you can track.
  • Write things down. You might not be a post-it note person, but having a calendar or a notepad with the daily goals written down accomplishes two things: it cements the goal in your mind and it gives you the satisfaction of physically crossing something off.
  • Share your goals with your team. Your colleagues will appreciate the communication and they may be able to help you get things done in a better, more timely way.

Even as the severity of the pandemic ebbs and flows, many businesses are wising up to the benefits of having an at-home workforce. This has led many temporary home office setups to become more permanent. LifeSpan can help make the transition a healthy and happy one with a full line of office wellness products. With a variety of options and payment plans to make things easier, you will feel even better about the move to a home-centered work environment. 

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